The upcoming Xbox One port of PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds was facilitated by none other than the Gears of War development team, The Coalition.
Nico Bihary, Microsoft’s executive producer on bringing Battlegrounds to Xbox One, recently told Polygon that the game is getting the “first-party” treatment in the transition, despite being technically a second-party title.
“It’s been quite a journey for us,” Bihary said. “There was this global assessment within Microsoft of how can we pair up with this super collaborative, super friendly and incredibly successful—in the short term—group for our partnership to deliver. As you can imagine, there were a lot of raised hands within Microsoft to offer support. PUBG is really getting the boutique, first-party, white-glove treatment from Microsoft.”
Bihary went on to detail some of the benefits working with The Coalition offered the Battlegrounds team. “By virtue of being publisher there’s some traditional housekeeping that we do,” Bihary said. “Where we are going well beyond that traditional second-party publishing relationship is by offering services like our first-party quality assurance team, offering services like our advanced technical group and enlisting folks like The Coalition to help with the aiming and tuning of controller systems.”
Development on Battlegrounds‘ port to the Xbox One’s Game Preview Program started after the PC version launched, meaning that players will find it to be at a different point in the game’s development on the console. Post-launch features like vaulting will be present, but the Xbox One version will generally be closer to the PC version that was live around May or June of this year, at least at the beginning.
“We have benefited from optimizations,” Bihary said. “We will get cool things like vaulting and climbing, and it’s our hope that at some point we’re hoping that our content roadmaps converge, but there’s still going to be a delta for some period of time.”
PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds launches in Xbox One’s Preview Program on December 12th. It will retail for $30, with “no plans or announcements regarding microtransactions,” according to Bihary, apart from the Xbox-exclusive cosmetic content already announced. In other Battlegrounds‘ news, the game’s new desert map was demoed for the first time at the recent Game Awards.